It’s been five years since Ubisoft released their IP super-giant and with Assassin’s Creed 3 just around the corner,we here at Gameverse thought it would be nice to take a look back at the epic story of the war between the Assassin’s and the Knights Templar.
The games follow Desmond Miles, a bartender who is kidnapped by multinational megacorporation Abstergo Industries who have a new machine called the Animus,a device that allows the user to tap into their genetic memory and relive the memories of their ancestors. Warren Vidic, the head researcher on the project, chose Desmond because he comes from a very unique line of Assassins. Vidic tries tapping into a specific memory from one of Desmond’s ancestors, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, but encounters synchronization problems, which Desmond must resolve by reliving Altaïr’s memories.
Desmond lays down in the Animus and starts his sync with Altaïr who is a member of the Assassin Brotherhood in 1191 during the Third Crusade in the Holy War. Altaïr has returned from a failed mission with fellow Assassin Malik, whose brother was killed in the exchange. Malik, cursing Altaïr’s ignorance, also carries with him an artifact that the Templar was trying to retrieve. Altaïr is then punished for breaking the three tenants of the Assassin Brotherhood:
1. Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent
2. Hide in plain sight
3. Never compromise the Brotherhood
Al Mualim, the leader of the Assassin’s, demotes Altaïr to a novice and gives him a second chance to redeem himself and rank up through the Brotherhood. He gives Altaïr a mission to assassinate nine key targets throughout Acre, Jerusalem and Damascus in an attempt to bring peace to the Holy Land. All nine targets are coconspirators to harnessing the power of the artifact that Malik brought back. They alone possess the knowledge to the artifact and its hidden and powerful secret. Altaïr tracks his targets using a sixth sense called Eagle Vision. It allowed the individual to sense how people and objects related to them by giving off a colored aura. As Altaïr gathers information about his targets and takes them out one by one, he realizes that everyone is connected to Robert de Sable.
Altaïr proceeds to his ninth and final target (Robert de Sable) and discovers that it was all a trap. The real de Sable is planning on using the Assassin’s victories against them by pleading his case to unite the Crusaders and Saracen forces (men Altaïr killed on both sides of the conflict) against their new common enemy, the Assassin’s. Altaïr then rushes off to stop this alliance before it happens. He tells King Richard I of England that Robert de Sable has been planning on betraying him at every turn. Richard is uncertain who is telling the truth and leaves it up to whoever is the better fighter. Altaïr defeats Robert and learns from him in his final moments that there were not nine Templars that sought the artifact, but ten: the tenth being Al Mualim himself! Altaïr returns to Masyaf to confront Al Mualim and finds that he controls the minds of the entire city. After a brutal fight to reach the Assassin’s headquarters Altaïr confronts Al Mualim who now wields the apple artifact. The apple is a centuries old artifact that creates illusions and controls the minds of men. Mualim explains that so long as men have free will, there will always be war, and he will use this Piece of Eden to create true peace. Altaïr defeats Al Mualim and vows to destroy the artifact. As he approaches it, it displays a map of the world with multiple locations marked for each artifact.
THIS was the memory Vidic was after and upon reviewing it he sends out teams to collect the other artifacts. As Vidic no longer needs Desmond he orders his death. Lucy, Vidic’s assistant, voices her concern that Desmond could still be of use to them. She later reveals to Desmond that she is an Assassin working undercover. After the Animus session, Desmond finds that he has gained Altaïr’s Eagle Vision to the “bleeding effect”; a symptom of the Animus where the user has difficulties distinguishing between an ancestors memory and they’re own. He sees symbols scrawled in blood in the room he’s held in, left by Subject 16, signifying the end of the world in multiple languages.
Assassin’s Creed 2
Assassin’s Creed 2 came out in November 2009, two years after the first game. With it came a TON of changes that made the series as a whole a lot more interesting. The first of which is the scale and scope of the world. While AC did a great job with the size and scope of their cities, AC2 blew it out of the water with a much larger and more populated city that felt alive. On the note of water, you do not die instantly by falling into the water as Ezio has learned to swim! AC2 also feels more like a game rather than a glorified tech demo. I noticed that in AC the major highlights were: find tallest building and gain the map of the area, eavesdrop and pickpocket couriers and beat information out of the ones who think they’re tough, protect and/or race your fellow assassins, and THEN hunt down and assassinate your target. It was the same process each and every time. The assassinating missions were fun, but the lead-in was so boring and repetitive. You don’t see that in AC2. Each mission has a different story that helps teach the basics and progress the overall storyline.
Assassin’s Creed 2 added collectables similar to the flag hunting that AC introduced but now you can hunt for smaller feathers! Hurray! They still glow and make a distinct wind chime sound when you’re near, but it’s annoying searching for these little buggers. On the bright side the memory sequences break down how many feathers are in each portion of the city, so finding that last one isn’t as difficult as it once was. AC2 introduced city renovations that allow you to earn money every 20 minutes so you can purchase upgrades for your weapons and armor. To help earn this money they hid a bunch of chests throughout the city that you can open to earn a little extra cash. You can even buy maps for the chest locations to help make things smoother.
Some other big improvements were adding a day/night cycle, new weapons- each with their own unique animations and not one but two hidden blades! We’re also excited to see that climbing animations are much faster than the previous game, making AC2 a faster paced, richer, and more exciting game. Ubisoft just raised the bar on action, platforming games.
Lucy, rushed and covered in blood, comes to get Desmond and has him lay down in the Animus one last time to get critical information from him. He briefly relives the birth of another ancestor of Ezio Auditore da Firenze while Lucy copies his log session files. The two of them fight to escape from Abstergo and arrive at their new base of operations in a secluded warehouse. Desmond is introduced to his new fellow assassin’s, historian Shaun Hastings, and computers expert Rebecca Crane. Rebecca has built her own version of the Animus with a few tweaks and upgrades, calling it the Animus 2.0. With the aid of the copied log session files that Lucy stole, they plan to use the Animus’s “bleeding effect” to train Desmond as an assassin and search for the pieces of Eden before Abstergo finds them. Desmond reluctantly uses the Animus and begins his training following Ezio Auditore.
Ezio Auditore is about 17 years old, living in Italy during the Renaissance when a close friend of Ezio’s father betrays his family. Ezio managed to dodge the guards coming to arrest his family but his father and two brothers were not so lucky. Ezio’s father instructs him to a secret room hidden in their house containing proof of their innocence as well as Assassin clothing and weapons. Ezio dons his new look and goes to the hanging ceremony to absolve his family, but he is too late. Ezio escapes the city with his mother and sister, who were hiding out at a neighbor’s house and go take shelter at their Uncle Mario’s villa in Monteriggioni. Mario vows to train Ezio as an assassin and provides information on the conspirators that led to the execution of his family.
After some training and guidance, Ezio returns to Firenze to start hunting down the and assassinating the conpirators. During his travels he befriends Leonardo da Vinci who is able to translate the encrypted codex pages his father left behind as well as repair and upgrade Ezio’s arsenal. Ezio soon realizes that the leader of these conspirators is Rodrigo Borgia and he had come into possession of a piece of Eden called the “Apple,” similar to the one Altaïr found centuries earlier. He’s been researching these pieces of Eden and they describe a prophet that will open the “Vault” which is believed to contain a vast amount of information and more pieces of Eden. Rodrigo believes himself to be this prophet.
Ezio finally catches up with Rodrigo and fights him off with the aid of the assassin’s, forcing Rodrigo to flee leaving the Apple behind. The assassins had a prophecy themselves that the prophet would be at that location and lead them to open the vault: the prophet being Ezio himself.
Back in 2012, Desmond takes frequent breaks from the Animus 2.0 while Lucy tests to see if the “bleeding effect” is working. Desmond is able to perform all the same moves as Ezio, absorbing years’ worth of training within a matter of hours! At one point Desmond blacks out and revisits a vision of Altaïr chasing down and making love to an ex-Templar named Maria. When Altaïr leaves, the memory stays behind with Maria, or more specifically her unborn child.
Desmond has also been noticing strange symbols on the sides of landmarks while in the Animus. Rebecca immediately recognizes it to be computer code planted by none other than “Subject 16” which was copied to their system from Lucy’s log session files. Each symbol goes into more detail about the pieces of Eden and how they’ve been used throughout the years. Each piece of information is accompanied by a small video clip. The video starts with the title “Subject 16, Session 12, Classified date B.C.E.” It shows a man and a woman running through a futuristic city where they’re building these pieces of Eden. After running through a factory and reaching the top of the building with a stolen piece of Eden, the Apple, they reveal their names to be Adam and Eve. The video then cuts out with computer code that translates to “EDEN.”
When Desmond tries to reenter the Animus, he finds that the next several memories are corrupt and they must jump forward to later in Ezio’s life. They managed to synchronize with Ezio in 1499, a few years after the fight with Rodrigo Borgia. Rodrigo has managed to gain influence in the Catholic Church becoming Pope Alexander IV. He now carries with him a Papal Staff, which the codex’s that Leonardo translated reveal to be another piece of Eden.
Ezio travels to the Vatican to assassinate Rodrigo. This time Rodrigo gains the upper hand and managed to stab Ezio and take his piece of Eden. With both in hand Rodrigo proceeds down to the hidden vault in an attempt to open it. Ezio chases after him and finds that he is having difficulty; he fights him once more in hand-to-hand combat. Ezio winning this time decides not to kill Rodrigo, as he has done enough killing in his lifetime and Rodrigo’s death would not bring back his family. Ezio places the staff in a hole in the floor which shines a light on a wall, opening the vault for Ezio.
The vault did not contain any treasures, or pieces of Eden. It instead held information for Ezio in the form of a holographic projection of a woman calling herself Minerva. She explains that she is not a god, but that she simply came before. When her kind walked the earth, we humans struggled to understand them; they were… more advanced in time. They were the ones that created us in their own image. She explains that a war broke out between our two races, and because they were more focused on earthly events, they did not see the threat from the cosmos; A celestial event that scorched the earth and wiped out nearly all life. They rebuilt the world and vowed that these same events would not happen again. They built temples around the world that contained information on preventing another celestial event. Ezio is bothered by the fact that she’s not looking at him while she is speaking. She hushes him and explains that she does not wish to speak to him, but through him. “The message is delivered. We are gone now from this world, all of us. We can do no more. The rest is up to you, Desmond.”
Desmond is awoken from the Animus and notices that everyone is packing up. Lucy explains that the Templars have tracked their location and are in the building. She tosses Desmond a hidden blade, similar to the one Ezio used and they both go to fight off the Templars. With the bleeding effect working to its full effect, Desmond has the same skills as Ezio and is able to fight off the invasion. Warren Vidic, makes an appearance as he escapes on a truck stating, “Enjoy your little victory. Temporary as it may be.” The group finishes packing up the truck and they plan to head north to a cabin where it’s safe. Lucy begins analyzing the tapes and explains that Earth’s geo-magnetic poles have been weakening over the years, and if it were to be hit by a solar flare that it could cause a geo-magnetic reversal. The effects of which would be catastrophic to our world. Rebecca prepares the Animus in the truck so they can gather more information on route to the safe house.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood continues the storyline of Desmond Miles reliving the memories of Ezio Auditore during the renaissance. With such big improvements from the AC – AC2, Ubisoft pulled no punches. The cities have gotten larger and Ezio is more deadly. Ubisoft wanted to showcase the large scale of Rome compared to the previous cities like Acre, Jerusalem and Venice. The city is so large the developers gave you access to horses to use for travel within the city. Another option would be renovating a sewer system that allows you to quick travel to certain portions of the city.
Ezio has access to a few new weapons, most notably a crossbow for silent ranged kills. The biggest change we see in Brotherhood is his combat skills. Once you’ve made your first kill, you can quickly attack a nearby enemy for an instant kill, allowing you to chain your attacks and plow through the Templar forces. The enemies have become stronger and more skilled, even utilizing firearms to shoot at you during combat. Regardless, the quick kill system allows you to no longer be on the defensive and really makes you feel like an assassin.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is also the first game to include online multiplayer. The game matched you up with other assassins seen throughout the single player campaign and required you to kill one another. Unlike other multiplayer games, AC:B required you to use skill and finesse to earn kill bonuses. You are assigned a target with which to assassinate. You earn more points by killing your target without arousing suspicion and hiding within the crowds. Rushing your target will give away your position and give you significantly less points for the kill. Another reason not to rush your target is that someone else is assigned to target and kill you. It’s a unique experience combining the thrills and fears of hunting and being hunted. New multiplayer modes and maps were released to allow for more team based games including Capture the Flag and Manhunt- a hide-and-seek bloodbath.
Brotherhood added another feature that’s unique to the storyline. As you become the Mentor of the Assassin’s Brotherhood, you can recruit other fellow citizens that want to take back their city to be trained as assassins. Brotherhood incorporates this concept by allowing you to signal your fellow assassin’s to fight with you and kill targets you designate. Some will say that Ezio has become lazy and is making others do the work for him, but he would say that he built this Brotherhood to last; with or without him.
During the car trip to their new safe house, Desmond attempts to connect with Ezio again but ends up colliding with a more powerful memory in 1507 during a siege of the Viana Castle. Rebecca run’s some diagnostics and the memory stabilizes back with Ezio in Minerva’s vault.
Ezio exits the vault to be greeted by his uncle Mario who just couldn’t pass up a good fight. As Ezio walks out of the vault, the door seals itself up and the Papal Staff starts descending into the floor. Mario tells Ezio that the staff is better in the hands of the earth, than in the hands of man. They then proceed to escape from the Vatican. When the two reach the river, Ezio is unsure if he wants to rid himself of the Apple or continue wielding it’s untold power. He gives it to Mario for safekeeping until he figures out what he wants to do later.
They ride back to Monteriggioni. Ezio, tired of fighting from vengeance for so many years, can finally relax. He has stopped Rodrigo Borgia from controlling the Pieces of Eden and has made peace with the death of his family. Within a few days, the city comes under attack by Rodrigo Borgia’s son, Cesare. Ezio helps the city fight back using the newly installed cannons while Mario attacks in force on the ground. The city is quickly overrun. Cesare kills Mario, taking the Apple that he was keeping safe. Ezio is also wounded by arquebusiers, now wielding rifles, and escapes the city with his mother and sister through hidden tunnels under the city. Ezio tells his family to go to Firenze while he follows Cesare to Rome. Still wounded, Ezio passes out on his horse and collapses on the side of the road outside of Rome.
Back in 2012, Desmond and his fellow assassin’s arrive at their new safe house, the present Monteriggioni. The group discusses their plan to find Ezio’s Apple of Eden as it will lead them to a temple Minerva mentioned earlier. Lucy suspects that Minerva altered it somehow when she touched it during Ezio’s visit. They need to get underground as Abstergo has upgraded to cell phone surveillance, which can track anything above ground. Desmond, still seeing ghosts of the past from the bleeding effect, spots Ezio at a later point in his life entering Monteriggioni though the hidden tunnels they escaped from earlier. Desmond and Lucy take point and explore the tunnels to let the rest of their team inside, flirting in the process. They find an open chamber where they can set up shop, and they continue their search for the Piece of Eden. Desmond also spots some cryptic symbols that Ezio left behind. Shaun examines the symbols and sets out to decrypt what they mean.
They know Ezio hid the piece of Eden in 1507, but they can’t access that memory because Ezio remembers something else: A memory within a memory. They once again must start from a previous memory until Desmond can synchronize with Ezio.
Ezio wakes up in a small house at the edge of Rome with a woman tending to his wounds. She explains that a man dropped him off with clothing and assassins’ gear and told him he is to meet up with Niccolo Machiavelli further inside. Machiavelli explains to Ezio how Rome fell under Borgia control and details their plan to retake the city. The two start by setting up their Assassin’s headquarters and allying with the other guilds in the city: The courtesans, the thieves, and the mercenaries. He begins recruiting citizens to his cause by inducting them into the Assassin Brotherhood, then later sending them out on missions throughout Europe to destabilize the Templar power.
Ezio then takes out the Borgia captains that are controlling parts of the city and igniting fires in their watchtowers to ignite the flames of rebellion in its citizens. Ezio later runs into his old friend Leonardo daVinci who explains how the Borgia is forcing him to build war machines for them. Ezio offers his assistance in destroying these war machines and in return Leonardo will build new weapons and upgrades for Ezio’s personal arsenal. Machiavelli, impressed with Ezio’s achievements promotes Ezio to be the Mentor and leader of the Assassin Brotherhood.
Shaun Hastings, Desmond’s historian located glyphs on specific landmarks that contain similar computer code to that which Subject 16 left earlier. These glyphs contain more information about the Templars and the hidden pieces of Eden. They also contain computer code to a virtual reality program that Subject 16 created. Desmonds locates and decrypts all 10 puzzles and enters the VR program. He’s met with an AI recreation of Subject 16. His words were cryptic and scrambled, like he was trying to tell Desmond everything all at once.
Subject 16: “It’s far later than you know, too late to save them.”
Subject 16: “She is not what she seems. Everything you hope to become, everything you hold dear. It’s already gone.”
Desmond: “Explain. Please”
Subject 16: “Eden. She…in Eden. Find Eve. The Key. Her DNA…”
Desmond: “Tell me.”
Subject 16: “I cannot…The sun…Your son…Too weak…Must replenish energy.”
Desmond: “Don’t go.”
Subject 16: “I am with you until the end. Find me in the darkness.”
Back in the Animus, Ezio hears word that an actor named Pietro Rossi who possessed a key to Castel Sant’Angelo, where the Borgia family now resides, was targeted by Rodrigo’s personal assassin Micheletto Corella. He intends to disguise his Templars as actors and make it look like an accident during Pietro’s rehearsal for an upcoming play. Ezio removes these Templars first and takes their costumes. He then disguises himself and his fellow assassins and moves in quietly to kill Micheletto. However, in his dying breath, he explains that the wine that Pietro drank was poisoned. Ezio quickly brings Pietro to a doctor and gets him the antidote to save his life. Pietro, blessed that Ezio saved his life, gives him the key to Castel Sant’Angelo to assassinate the Borgia’s.
Ezio, now able to reach Rodrigo and Cesare, climbs up Castel Sant’Angelo. While peering through a window, Ezio witnesses Cesare killing his father, Rodrigo, with a poisoned apple. He then forces the Apple of Eden’s location out of his sister Lucrezia. Ezio arrives only a moment later. Lucrezia, enraged with the death of her father and the threats of her brother, gives Ezio the location of the Apple, hoping he reaches it before Cesare. Ezio races furiously though the city to reach the Apple before Cesare, and makes it just in the nick of time. Ezio then uses the apple to control the minds of Cesare’s men and force them to kill each other. Cesare flees the city and is met at the gate by Mecheletto’s army who then arrest him by order of the new Pope Julius II for murder, betrayal, and incest. While Cesare is arrested he shouts, “Chains will not hold me. I will not die by the hand of man.”
These words echo with Ezio. Worried that this will not be the end of Cesare he consults with his longtime friend Leonardo daVinci. Leonardo tells him that there is only one way to find out if what Cesare says is true: Use the Apple. Ezio felt that the Apple was too dangerous and should be locked away from the hands of man. Still, the words echoing through his mind, Ezio takes his advice and uses the Apple. Leonardo was right! Cesare would break free and Ezio must leave immediately.
Ezio tracked Cesare down to the battle of Viena. He fights through his infantry and climbs up the castle walls. Ezio defeats the skilled fighter by breaking through the many layers of armor covering him and corners Cesare at the edge. Cesare boasts that he cannot be killed by the hands of man; Ezio agreeing says that he will leave his life in the hands of fate and pushes him off the castle wall. After the battle, Ezio takes the Apple and hides it in Juno’s temple hidden beneath Santa Maria Aracoeli.
Desmond exits the Animus to consult with his team on how to obtain the Apple. They figure out that the door requires a verbal password in order to get into the vault. Shaun examines the symbols that they found earlier and recognizes them to be the same as the one on the vault. Accompanied with the symbol are three numbers: 1419, 1420, and 1421. They’re not dates but passages in the Bible: Exodos 19-21 that list the 72 names of God. Not only that, but construction on the Coliseum begun in the year 72. Now that they have a password, the group heads to the Coliseum that is currently under renovation and searches for a hidden passageway. Desmond searches the Coliseum while the rest of the group looks for another entrance.
Desmond finds the hidden passageway and see’s holograms of Juno explaining the war between “the ones who came before” and man. The passageway leads to Santa Maria Aracoeli where he regroups with the team. Desmond’s bleeding effect allows him to see Ezio’s ghost unlocking an elevator to Juno’s temple. Once inside, they speak the password “seventy-two” and unlock the chamber holding the Apple. Juno’s hologram continues speaking to Desmond explaining how “the ones who came before” did not pass on their sixth sense: Knowledge. They knew that Desmond would come here and activate the apple; and that he would know only when it is too late.
When the group approaches the apple, strange glyphs emerge. Shaun recognizes two of the symbols and that they only appear in one place… His sentence is cut short as Desmond grabbed the Apple. Time stops for everyone except Desmond, and even he cannot move. Juno possesses his body and explains that his DNA has activated the Apple. He, who was a descendent of both the ancient race and Man. She mentions that there is only one other that would enter the temple with him, but she is not with this group, and Templars are within their midst. Taking control of Desmond she forces him to stab Lucy in the chest for Lucy was a double agent working for the Templars. The pair collapses to the ground, Lucy bleeding out and Desmond going into shock. Voices can be heard of other assassins, namely that of Desmond’s father. They place Desmond back in the Animus hoping to stabilize him.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the third and final chapter following Ezio Auditore. Desmond’s story however is not yet finished. Ubisoft has taken to the comments from their fans to heart and continued innovating and improving upon what’s worked in the past and remove what wasn’t. The city renovations are still present and the size and scope of the cities are still impressive. Ezio has evolved with the times as a Mentor to the assassin’s and working with them to establish Dens throughout the city. The assassin’s that occupy Constantinople have borrowed what they have learned from the Chinese and crafted small bombs that can distract, kill or hinder their enemies. They also use a unique hook blade to traverse the city faster by extending their reach as well and sliding down wires. Revelations also introduced a tower defense mini game that would activate when your notoriety got too high.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations starts off with Desmond being put into the Animus to save his life. The constant use of the Animus has caused too many memories trying to compete for the host so the group puts Desmond into the Animus using a safe mode called the Black Room. The Black Room appears as a small deserted beach, and Desmond happens to run into the uploaded consciousness of Subject 16. He kindly informs Desmond of his current situation and tells him that he must use a Sync Nexus to play out the rest of Ezio and Altaïr’s memories to allow the Black Room to separate the three and put Desmond’s consciousness back into his body. Desmond uses the Sync Nexus and finishes off Ezio’s story.
Ezio has been traveling for a few years and has learned about a library of information left by Altaïr that details the war between the Assassin’s and Templars. He sought information and guidance to his role in this war, but when he reached Masyaf he is met with Templar forces. They manage to subdue Ezio and plan his execution, however Ezio has other plans: He breaks free and finds the hidden library under Masyaf where the Templars are trying to break through the main entrance but it’s locked by five keys. A worker tells Ezio that the Templars have not only one of the keys but the location to the rest; detailed in Niccolò Polo’s journal held by the captain. Ezio tracks the captain down and relieves him of the journal. He then sets sail for Constantinople toward one of Niccolò Polo’s trading spots.
Ezio is greeted by Yusuf Tazim, an assassin running one of the guilds in Constantinople. He teaches Ezio the “new” ways of the assassin using small crafted bombs as well as how to wield a new hook blade for faster navigation. The journal directs Ezio to a small book shop where he finds his first key. He also falls in love with the shopkeeper Sophia Sartor as she helps him track down the other keys and some very rare books.
The Five Keys
Ezio quickly learned that the keys not only open to door to Masyaf’s library, but they also contain memories of Altaïr in a similar fashion that the Animus allows Desmond to view his ancestor’s memories. The first key’s memory was of Altaïr two years before he was stripped of his honor from the first game. Templars were attacking Masyaf and have managed to capture Al Mulim. Altaïr managed to fight off the attack and save his mentor from execution.
The second key takes place after Al Mulim’s death where Abbas, one of the assassins, is concerned about Altaïr killing their Mentor. Altaïr now 26, tries explaining that the Apple corrupted Al Mulim and in turn would corrupt the Brotherhood. Abbas felt that Altaïr killed their mentor to gain more power. Abbas went and took the artifact from the Al Mulim’s study, but did not have the strength to wield it. The apple began to overcharge, depleting Abbas’ life. Altaïr, unaffected by the Apple, quickly takes the artifact from Abbas and questions if the Apple has anything to teach them, or if it would lead them all to ruin.
The third key takes place over 30 years after the second memory. Altaïr and his wife Maria who have since left Masyaf return to confront Abbas, the new leader of the assassins, about the execution of Altaïr youngest son. When he hears that Abbas killed his son to take back the Apple, Altaïr begins to use the Apple to kill the assassins responsible. Maria tries to stop Altaïr and ends up breaking his concentration resulting in the assassin stabbing Maria and killing her. Altair then must escape Masyaf but not before he bumps into his oldest son. The two of them fight off the assassin’s hunting them down and manage to escape Masyaf.
The fourth key takes place two decades after the third memory where Altaïr returns to Masyaf to speak with Abbas. He finds that his actions last time have splintered the brotherhood as many assassins have begun to question Abbas’ actions. With Altaïr’s return, many have come to support him as the true Mentor and seek his wisdom and guidance. Altaïr speaks with Abbas and tells him that he has corrupted the Brotherhood and everything that they stood for. With the knowledge he gained from the Apple, Altaïr had crafted a hidden gun which he used to kill Abbas and take his place as Mentor of the Assassins.
The fifth key has Altaïr escorting Niccolò Polo and his brother out of Masyaf as Mongols have broken through and taken the village. Altaïr uses the Apple to create illusions of assassins to protect the Polo’s as he escorts them through the hostile territory. He gives them a codex book that details his knowledge he’s gained from the Apple as well as the keys to the library under Masyaf, to hide throughout Constantinople (the same keys these memories are stored upon).
All the while Ezio tracks down these keys, he’s helping Prince Suleiman reveal a Templar threat. Suleiman’s uncle Ahmet and his brother Selim are in a power struggle with who will become the next Sultan of Constantinople. Prince Suleiman asks Ezio to investigate a plot against the Ottomans. It’s revealed that a Janissary captain named Tarik was providing weapons to the Byzantine forces that are plotting to overthrow the Ottomans and restore the Byzantine Empire. With Prince Suleiman’s support Ezio kills Tarik for treason, but he also discovers that Tarik was attempting to flush out the Templars who are now residing in Cappadocia under the rule of Manuel Palaiologos.
Ezio quickly sets sail for Cappadocia and meets with one of Tarik’s spies, Dilara. He offers his aid in breaking out her fellow spies, however she herself gets captured. Ezio frees the group and suggests destroying the rifles that Manuel has acquired. Dalara informs him that most of the rifles don’t actually work, but they did have to provide real gunpowder. Ezio then uses a bomb to destroy their stockpile of gunpowder ensuing chaos and weeding out Manuel. Cornering him and swiftly taking his life, Ezio is approached by Suleiman’s uncle Ahmet who reveals that he was a Templar, like Manuel who was put in charge of opening the library and taking Altaïr secrets. He demands that Ezio give him the keys or he would inflict harm upon Sophia. Ahmet escapes on boat and Ezio returns to his ship in pursuit toward Constantinople.
During his time in the Animus, Desmond finds data fragments scattered throughout the world that unlocked parts of his memories that have become, well, fragmented. Removing these fragments allows Desmond to remember parts of his past and how he became the person that he is today. The information is told through five sessions.
The first session details Desmond’s childhood and where he grew up- the Farm. A hidden location designed to train new assassins; Desmond was born into it. They kept telling him that he was an assassin. His father would tell him about the ancient war between the Assassins and the Templars. Desmond however never took it seriously.
The second session teaches us about Desmond’s training. How he hated the constant training but enjoyed the outdoors. How they never really told him what this war was about or what they’re training for. Only that the Templars are everywhere and they have their hands in everything, and that it was Abstergo who was behind it all. They made it sound like the world was headed for a catastrophe. But Desmond wasn’t convinced. If only they told him the truth about this war, maybe he would understand.
The third session explains how he intended to escape. He was only 16 years old, but he didn’t care where he went. He wanted his own life. He just up and left the Farm without a second thought. He walked through the woods and followed a stream to a city where he met a few girls on a road trip. They took him across the country where he met a man who suggested for him to head to New York City. So that’s where he went.
The fourth session is about his life as a bartender in NYC. How he joked about his past with his customers and invented drinks like the “Shirley Templar”. When asked about his past he would say that his parents are conspiracy freaks that live in the woods. He missed his parents through, but he was glad that he was living his own life. The way he wanted to live it.
In the last memory Desmond is filled with regret. The city has lost its shine and he became miserable. That’s when Abstergo found him. They said that they’ve been looking for him. He’s spent 9 years trying to forget his past, and suddenly he wanted it all back. Abstergo wanted information stored within him, inside his DNA. Desmond comes to terms with himself, an Assassin.
The black room that Desmond now resides has become unstable. The Animus has begun deleting all unnecessary data; like a white blood cell attacking a virus. Subject 16 has been keeping it distracted this whole time while Desmond sorts out his memories, but time is short as Animus Island is being deleted piece by piece. Subject 16 grabs ahold of Desmond and throws him into the last Sync Nexus, saving him from deletion and sacrificing himself.
Ezio meets with Ahmet to trade the Masyaf keys for Sophia’s life. He does so without any question, but quickly realizes that it was a decoy. Sophia was being hanged across the city. Ezio manages to reach her just in time to save her life and the two of them chase after Ahmet out of the city to steal back the Masyaf keys. Ezio runs his carriage off a cliff and leaps after him, saving Ahmet’s life by using Leonardo da Vinci’s parachute. On the ground the pair is met by Selim who was just enacted as Sultan. He kills Ahmet but spares Ezio’s life on the order of Prince Suleiman. Ezio takes back the keys and leaves for Masyaf with Sophia.
They arrive to find that Masyaf is deserted. With the Templars seeking the library’s knowledge defeated, Ezio can explore without any distractions. Using the keys, he unlocks the door to find that the library is empty with the exception of Altaïr’s skeleton hold one last key bestowed with his memory.
The memory shows Altaïr working with his son by removing all the books from the library. Some went to the Polo’s while the rest went to Alexandria. The library was no longer there to hold books of information, but a vault to hold the most precious artifact, the Altaïr’s Apple.
Ezio finds that the Apple is still locked away, but he does not wish to take it. He removes his hidden blades and his sword and speaks directly to Desmond as he a conduit for a message. A hologram of Desmond appears in the wake of the Apple so the two can converse. Ezio imparts the knowledge he’s gained from Jupiter, another member of the ones who came before, to Desmond. Jupiter explains that they have built vaults around the world, hidden underground to research different ways to save humanity from a solar flare. All information from these vaults was sent to a single location where Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva would pick the solutions that held the most promise and put them to the test. They managed to try six times before the flare went off and destroyed their civilization. In the end, there were only 10 thousand of our kind left, and only a fraction of the ancient ones. He tells Desmond to go to that place, where they labored and lost.
Desmond awakens from his coma and finds himself in the back of a truck. The assassins have brought him to a secluded part of the United States where Minerva, Jupiter, and Juno worked to find a solution for their demise. Desmond sits up and tells the group that he knows he needs to do…
By: Steven Bartels